Cablegate: U/S Dobriansky's Meetings in Madrid

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. A) MADRID 3492
B. B) 3447

1. Summary. During her September 27 visit to Madrid to meet
with FM Miguel Angel Moratinos (REF A), Under Secretary for
Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky also met with
Director General for International Organizations and
Multilateral Affairs Arturo Laclaustra to discuss USG
initiatives to monitor and respond to avian influenza and
Spain's position on Magen David Adom, as well as with DG for
the Middle East and Africa Alvaro Iranzo, Special Envoy for
the Alliance of Civilizations Maximo Cajal, and Sub Director
General for North American Affairs Manuel de la Camara. U/S
Dobriansky met separately with a small group of think tank
representatives. End Summary.


2. In her meeting with MFA DG for International Organizations
and Multilateral Affairs Laclaustra, U/S Dobriansky discussed
the USG's support for a diplomatic conference to discuss the
Third Protocol and the inclusion of Magen David Adom in the
International Red Cross, as well as the USG's growing concern
regarding the possibility of a global pandemic related to the
H5N1 strain of avian influenza. On Magen David Adom,
Laclaustra said the MFA was "100 percent" behind the
assessment that this is a humanitarian not political issue.
Noting that the two societies were meeting at the time of his
meeting with the Under Secretary, he was encouraged that
civil society on both the Israeli and Palestinian side seemed
to be working towards a resolution. He acknowledged that
Switzerland was playing a facilitating role, but stressed
that the majority of the discussion was at the civil society
level. Laclaustra said that the Swiss were working on
setting a date for a meeting to move the MDA issue forward,
but that it would not take place by October 27. U/S
Dobriansky thanked Spain for its support and noted the USG's
desire to set a date for a meeting in order to generate
positive traction.

3. U/S Dobriansky described the International Partnership on
Avian and Pandemic Influenza (IPAPI) initiative, emphasizing
its core principles of transparency and coordination among
the various interested parties and organizations, including
the World Health Organization (WHO) and affected countries
such as Vietnam and Laos. Dobriansky urged Spain's
participation in the upcoming experts meeting in Washington,
a meeting intended to help key actors verify whether all
appropriate measures are in place to monitor and respond to
avian flu outbreaks. Laclaustra expressed appreciation for
the USG initiative, but indicated Spain would await
development of an EU common position on the issue at the
September 30 meeting of the COREPER in Brussels (REF B). U/S
Dobriansky encouraged Spain's participation in IPAPI
irrespective of the results of the COREPER meeting.


4. U/S Dobriansky held a separate meeting with DG for Foreign
Policy Dezcallar, DG for the Middle East and Africa Alvaro
Iranzo, Sub Director General for North American Affairs
Manuel de la Camara, and Special Envoy for the Alliance of
Civilizations Maximo Cajal to discuss democracy promotion,
especially in the BMENA region and Latin America. She drew
particular attention to the value of the Community of
Democracies process as a forum for democracies from around
the world to exchange information. She thanked Spain for its
support for BMENA initiatives and reviewed her meeting with
FM Moratinos earlier in the day, including his expressions of
support for the Budapest International Center for Democratic
Transitions and for the Foundation and Fund for the Future.

5. Dezcallar and Iranzo highlighted North Africa as a region
of strategic concern for Spain, noting the difficulties
involved in promoting democracy and reform in Tunisia,
Algeria, and Morocco. Dezcallar said Spain enjoyed an
excellent image in Morocco and in the Middle East and could
use its credibility to support a pro-reform agenda. He urged
USG activism in North Africa, especially in encouraging
improved relations between Algeria and Morocco. U/S
Dobriansky reviewed USG actions to keep Algeria and Morocco
pointed in a positive direction and the USG's support for the
UN process on Western Sahara. Maximo Cajal returned to the
importance of Morocco for Spanish foreign policy, saying,
that it would be difficult for the Alliance of Civilizations
to prosper if Spain could not develop a mutually supportive
relationship with Morocco. Dezcallar discussed the
preparations for the September 29 Spain-Morocco summit, which
included multiple cabinet level officials from both countries.


6. U/S Dobriansky's final event in Madrid was a meeting with
a small group of political and think tank figures, including
Popular Party (PP) Parliamentarian Jorge Moragas, Soeren Kern
of Madrid's premier Elcano Institute, and Jose Luis Herrero
of the Foundation for International Relations and Dialogue.
Moragas discussed the PP's differences with the Zapatero
government on foreign policy issues, particularly over Cuba
and Venezuela and the PP's view that Spain's position on both
countries should be much closer to that of the USG. Jose
Luis Herrero, whose organization focuses on Middle East
issues, described Spanish views on the Middle East Peace
Process and discussed the Alliance of Civilizations
initiative. He highlighted his effort to get the Spanish
Parliament to focus on human rights efforts, including on
mandating the replication of the USG Human Rights Report. He
lamented the lack of objective facts, noting that this
contributed to insufficient dialogue and decision making in
the Spanish Parliament. He also noted that the U.S. media is
not focused on international issues, which contributes to a
lack of understanding of such issues among the general
American population. Kern, a U.S. citizen and long term
resident of Spain, described the difficulty in penetrating
Spanish misperceptions of the U.S. political process. U/S
Dobriansky discussed her objectives in Spain and noted USG
and Spanish efforts to coordinate on important initiatives
such as the Barcelona Process and the Alliance of

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